There is a wealth of attractions in Chiang Mai and visitors to this scenic Northern Thailand province are never short of a days sightseeing especially if they really want to get to grips with rural Thai culture and the history of the country. Temples are everywhere and are much visited attractions in Chiang Mai though please be aware of the dress codes when visiting them. Upon the highest mountain in the region is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep which is one of Chiang Mai’s most popular attractions and offers stunning views of the city of Chiang Mai from its lofty heights.
Natural attractions in Chiang Mai include many waterfalls, caves and even two hot springs to explore; the Chiang Dao cave stretches for 10 kilometres and is electrically lit, guides can be found to explore the far depths of the cave. Chiang Mai is home to a number of national parks, ideal for wildlife spotting and bird watching or just for a pleasant walk.
Chiang Mai attractions of course include elephant camps which shows elephants that the Thais have domesticated and worked with for many years, rides are available if you fancy trekking through the mountains on one of these magnificent creatures. If you wish to view some more exotic animals then a trip to the Chiang Mai zoo and Chiang Mai night safari is necessary; Chiang Mai zoo has become a very popular Chiang Mai attraction since the introduction of two giant pandas in December 2003 and hopes in the future to breed this rare animal.
If you wish to view flora rather than fauna then pay a visit to the Queen Sirikit Botanical Centre which is home to several hundred species of mainly Thai native plants and orchids. Orchids and butterfly nurseries are common place in Chiang Mai and well worth a visit especially since you can pick up some bargain priced orchids as well in this region.
Hilltribe villages are amongst the must visit attractions in Chiang Mai and sightseeing highlights of the province, though for the more remote villages you must trek up to them with a tour guide. If you wish to view Hilltribe handicrafts, tools and clothes as well as learn more about Chiang Mai’s Hilltribe communities then drop in at the Hilltribe museum which features a large selection of these tribal goods. Another museum to visit is the Chiang Mai National Museum which is home to Lanna handicrafts and arts, ancient Buddha images, as well as Burmese and Thai weapons of war from the less peaceful times of Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand.